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Review of current inspection devices that utilise ionising radiation and horizon-scanning of potential future developments to determine if additional measures may be necessary to protect the interests
Project Code: FS231028
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has previously conducted two desk studies on behalf of the FSA to examine whether current, or emerging, security inspection technologies using ionising radiation fall under the scope of the Food Irradiation (England) Regulations 2009.
These regulations apply to equipment operating above any of the following levels:
• x-rays with energies in excess of 10 MeV;
• neutrons with energies in excess of 14 MeV;
• other radiations with energies in excess of 5 MeV;
• where the absorbed dose due to neutrons exceeds 0.01 Gy;
• where the absorbed dose from radiations other than neutrons exceeds 0.5 Gy.
There is no evidence in the available literature to suggest that radiation outputs from current security screening devices used in the UK exceed the above levels. However, some emerging technologies could exceed these levels. These technologies include linear accelerators for the production of x-rays, gamma generators based on nuclear reactions, compact neutron generators based on fusion reactions and laser-driven accelerators.
DSTL recommends the following:
• a watching brief is maintained on international recommendations from the WHO and FDA;
• a watching brief is maintained on all developing technologies in the area of security screening;
• as new security screening technologies are introduced across the world, technical and dosimetric data is collected to better inform the FSA.
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